The Pathfinder Roleplaying System, published by Paizo, is incredibly similar to Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 in most respects. In general, however, the player is given more options and many confusing rules have been simplified. This is an excellent system with which to introduce people to tabletop RPGs (Role-Playing Games) for the first time. This guide will take you through character creation of a first level PC (player character) step by step, and make no assumptions about previous knowledge concerning the d20 system.
All content in the Pathfinder Roleplaying System is released under the Open Gaming License. This means that it can be made freely and legally available to everyone for reference. The following website is constantly updated with all content released for the Pathfinder System, and you will find it extremely helpful during character creation and actual gaming sessions: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/. Relevant links to this site will be included throughout this guide.
Step 1: What You Need
A. The main materials you will need are a printed character sheet, a pencil, an eraser, imagination, and dice.
The default Pathfinder Character Sheet (CS) is attached to this page, and should serve you well for your first character. However, I would like to point out that numerous alternatives exist, many of which are freely available on the web. For example, I highly recommend Happy Camper's character sheets that are tailored for specific classes, which are also attached. Also note that having extra paper nearby is a necessity, as you will likely be getting treasure, characters names, and other miscellaneous info that you should write down. Finally, having extra character sheets printed is also a good idea, since they tend to get dirty and smudged over time.
B. You will need the following dice to play using the Pathfinder system: d4, 4d6, d8, d%, d12, and d20.
Pathfinder uses several different kinds of dice, each with a different number of sides. When referring to dice, you use the letter "d" followed by the number of sides on the die. For example, a standard six-sided die would be called a d6. If you are expected to roll multiple dice, there will be a number before the "d". For example, rolling four six-sided dice (or if you prefer, rolling a single six-sided die four times) would be written as 4d6, and the final result would be the total sum of the die rolls. The d% refers to two dice: one is a normal d10 referred to as the "ones," and the other is a d10 with the numbers 0-90 on it in multiples of 10, referred to as the "tens." When rolled simultaneously, these dice allow for 100 different possibilities, hence the name d%. For example, a "40" on the tens die and a "6" on the ones die give the result 46. Note that when rolling a d10, a roll of "0" is actually 10. When rolling a d%, a roll of "0" on the ones die and "00" on the tens die is actually 100.